Finding new Gondwana hadrosaurs is always an event. I have had the great pleasure and honour to restore this robust new saurolophine for my friend Penélope Cruzado Caballero, that has done her PhD on hadrosaurs!. She has always been the Hadrosaur Ace to my eyes.
Bonapartesaurus rionegrensis, published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, possesses a strange mixture for characters that reminds me of the tall vertebrae (hips and tail) that I found also typical typical of Mexican hadrosaurs, but now represented as South as late Campanian–early Maastrichtian of the Salitral Moreno site in Argentina!
Bonapartesaurus is obviously named not after Napoleon, but after the legendary, charming, and sometimes infamous, Argentinian palaeontologist José Bonaparte (responsible of so many South American dinosaur finds), whom I had the privilege of meeting a SVPCA meeting in Oxford many years ago.
According to Penélope:
“Bonapartesaurus has extremely long sacral spines . The sacrals are very wide anteroposteriorly and narrow lateromedially. While the caudals have a very characteristic baseball bat shape. That is, they widen greatly towards the distal end of the spine.
The foot has a very large bone regrowth in one of the metatarsals,.We still do not know how it could affect the life of this dinosaur. It is the next new project that I will carry out.
It is related to the North American hadrosaurids Prosaurolophus maximus and Saurolophus osborni and the Asian Saurolophus angustirostris.
Measurements: The femur has a length of 96 cm and a diameter of 12.4 cm. The tibia has a length of 81.5 cm. Bonapartesaurus was about 9 meters long.
They have been found in the same area remains of the titanosauridos Rocasaurus muniozi and Aeolosaurus sp. There are also remains of saltasaurines and sauropod eggs of titanosaurides have been found.
Remains of birds, turtles, coelosaurid theropods and nodosaurid type ankylosaurids were also found.
Among the hadrosaurids found in the site was the species Willinakaqe, that is no longer valid. Among its remains we discovered that there were two different morphotypes, but we have not been able to tell if they are due to sexual dimorphism or two species.
Alluvial plain of a delta.”
I have taken some liberties (especially considering that we don’t know how the pathological bone would have looked from the outside) and have added some dromeosaurids to spice up things! The landscape I chose as model was as a tribute to Penélope (who is Spanish)… it is the Asturias coast in Northern Spain where some of the biggest footprints of titanosaurs have been found… a little arbitrary detail to add some meaningful ‘artistic’ content!